What is the difference between a trip and an expedition? I had a prolonged heated discussion with Leon from Body Boat Blade about this finite, maybe even niggling point. What is a trip and what is an expedition? The definition listed above might explain it. But from a semantic view is there a difference?
Could you make a point that there are no expeditions, just trips. What makes an expedition an expedition, vs. someone just going on a trip. Maybe it is my midwestern humility that makes me feel like bloated wanker if I say I am going on an expedition, vs. “Hey I am going on a trip.”
When we picture expeditions, do we picture a long protracted affair with pith helmets, Sherpas, (or subjugated aboriginal peoples) carrying our divan and priceless china and crystal set to a remote location where we shoot at endangered wildlife and drink 20 year old scotch as the sun sets? Picture Sydney Pollack’s film Out of Africa with Robert Redford.
Or do we picture a simple affair with friends deciding to see the local coast from the water? Pack some food, tents and gear to make it work in the near wilderness for a week or two.
Leon mentioned that Nigel Dennis referred to all of his journeys as expeditions, no matter the length or place they were undertaken. So if he had three groups on the water, he would say, “I have three expeditions out today”. It sounds kind of breezy and fun when you say it like that.
This leads to the real question, what makes an expedition an expedition? Is it distance? Is it exposure? Is it risk? Is it a purpose? Is it sponsorship? What is it?
Send us your thoughts.